Tracy ready to step up after long wait

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It may have taken eight weeks longer than Adrian Tracy expected, but the Giants defensive end is excited for a potential increase in playing time Sunday.

With defensive end Justin Tuck questionable for Sunday's game against Baltimore, Tracy is in line to potentially see a boost in snaps if the veteran can't go. It seemed earlier this year that Tracy would be a bigger part of the defense after his first sack against San Francisco, but that never translated.

"(I'd be) Ecstatic. This is what you want to do. You want to play. You want to get out on the field and you want to contribute to the team and do anything to help them win," Tracy said. "In San Francisco, when I got the opportunity, I was on cloud nine and if it presents itself this week, I'll have the same feeling."

Tuck did not practice all week and it's up in the air if he will be able to go. The Giants depth chart currently has Tracy as the backup to co-starters Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora on the right side, and Mathias Kiwanuka as the backup to Tuck. Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said he'll have to see when asked if Tracy would be in line to see a boost in playing time.

A sixth-round pick in 2010, Tracy has bounced back and forth between linebacker and defensive end in his short tenure with the Giants. He registered the first sack of his career against San Francisco on Oct. 14, and thought he might see a tick in his playing time because of it. The team had found a combination defensive end/linebacker position for him, and he responded with a strong showing in brief action.

Eight games later, Tracy has received just 20 snaps since, including four games when the team didn't use him on defense at all. In the last three games, he's only had three defensive snaps, all of which came in the blowout win against New Orleans. The momentum that was supposed to keep Tracy on the field just hasn't materialized as the Giants enter the final two games of the season.

"There was a role that was made for me and they thought that I played well at that position and I thought that my role would increase, but in due time," Tracy said. "Things happen."

Tracy said he's been pretty much playing as a defensive end this week, and wants to be sure that there isn't a drop off if he gets to play.

"Every week I go into the game plan prepared," Tracy said. " I get my mentality right to focus on what is required of me in the different positions that I fill and that’s what you want to be is prepared at all times in case something happens where you’re called on."